The World’s End By William Empson

The World’s End By William Empson “Fly with me then to all’s and the world’s end And plumb for safety down the gaps of stars; Let the last gulf or topless cliff befriend, What tyrant there our variance debars?” Alas, how hope for freedom, no bars bind; Space is like earth, rounded, a padded cell; […]

Ignorance Of Death By William Empson

Ignorance Of Death By William Empson Then there is this civilising love of death, by which Even music and painting tell you what else to love. Buddhists and Christians contrive to agree about death Making death their ideal basis for different ideals. The Communists however disapprove of death Except when practical. The people who dig […]

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Aubade By William Empson

Aubade By William Empson Hours before dawn we were woken by the quake. My house was on a cliff. The thing could take Bookloads off shelves, break bottles in a row. Then the long pause and then the bigger shake. It seemed the best thing to be up and go. And far too large for […]

Success By William Empson

Success By William Empson I have mislaid the torment and the fear. You should be praised for taking them away. Those that doubt drugs, let them doubt which was here. Well are they doubted for they turn out dear. I feed on flatness and am last to leave. Verse likes despair. Blame it on the […]

Let It Go By William Empson

Let It Go By William Empson It is this deep blankness is the real thing strange. The more things happen to you the more you can’t Tell or remember even what they were. The contradictions cover such a range.The talk would talk and go so far aslant.You don’t want madhouse and the whole thing there. […]

The Teasers By William Empson

The Teasers By William Empson Not but they die, the teasers and the dreams, Not but they die, and tell the careful flood To give them what they clamour for and why. You could not fancy where they rip to blood, You could not fancy nor that mud I have heard speak that will not […]

Homage To The British Museum By William Empson

Homage To The British Museum By William Empson There is a supreme God in the ethnological section; A hollow toad shape, faced with a blank shield. He needs his belly to include the Pantheon, Which is inserted through a hole behind. At the navel, at the points formally stressed, at the organs of sense, Lice […]